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February 16, 2003

"They're not booing, they're cheering 'Lou'."
-An observer at the 2003 Gasparilla Knight Parade, noting the presence of parade grand marshal Lou Pinella

This has been an eventful weekend. On Friday it was the usual place, the Market on 7th restaurant/bar in Ybor. My friend Riley was there, and he mentioned reading the "That's not an MP, it's a YP" line from an earlier column and how great that line was in Boogie Nights. We talked about favorite movies... Riley said three of his favorite top five were Boogie Nights, Goodfellas and The Shawshank Redemption. All three of those are excellent, to be sure (I own all three on DVD). Also on Saturday I bought Fight Club and Go on DVD. I'd been looking to purchase Go for awhile now, and Best Buy sold it to me for just $7.99. Not bad, eh?

Talking about women, Riley discussed the need for a guy to have an "angle". Not a gimmick -- an angle. Not quite sure what to think of that. I tend to overthink things when it comes to women anyway. But it makes sense.

I went in search of a miniplug-to-miniplug cable yesterday. Both Best Buy and "We Give Sound Advice" (perhaps the most awkward name ever for an electronics store) told me they didn't have it. I had to go down to Westshore Mall to buy it from Radio Shack. But in the process I got to see some really really nice HDTV plasma TV's. Watching a hockey game on one of those is a real treat -- you get to see alot more of the ice that way.

While at the mall, I won a chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A. They had this wheel out in front of Burdines, and you could spin the wheel and win something. Of course, there's a catch -- it requires the purchase of a combo meal. But, hey, free sandwich.

The Krewe of the Knights of Sant' Yago parade, better known as the "Night" or "Knight" parade, switched things up this year. Instead of starting downtown and finishing up in Ybor, it began in Ybor and ended in the Channelside area. It also started an hour earlier. The idea was to lessen some of the Ybor gridlock. I'm not sure they succeeded.

Originally my friend James Maynor and I were going to tear things up for it. But unfortunately the Coast Guard activated James, and he's now working up in Jacksonville with them. He told me to call him the first time I had a girl flashing in front of me. That took all of maybe 10 minutes, and true to form I called him to let him know what he was missing. The cell reception down there was terrible though, so the call didn't last very long.

There were so many hilarious and/or captivating moments... Like the chick who had the sign with a heart and the word "BUTT" in the middle (I guess saying she likes da butt). Inexplicably funny. Or like when I went down to the "bad side" of Ybor and people were trying to catch the beads ricocheting off of this tall building that's pretty close to the street. I compared it on the phone with Scott Massey later that night as the Green Monster in Fenway, getting the easy double off the big wall in left. Then there was the float with the Bucs cheerleaders on it. I think I got whipped in the face by beads when they went by, but I didn't react to it; my attention was elsewhere.

How crazy did it get? I had two girls offer me beads for a look at my package. I'm serious. And I had this other girl come up wanting free beads. Of course she made the mistake of asking me if I was gay, which drew about the same reaction as if I'd gone up to her cold and said: "Excuse me, are you a filthy, dirty, bus station skank whore?" When she refused to show her tits for beads, I walked away. She told me I should give her beads for being a classy girl. Please. This is Gasparilla. And classy girls don't go up to straight guys and ask if they're gay. I should've banged her then and there to defend my honor. Show her what it means to be classy.

As I mentioned last night, I didn't do a particularly good job of pacing myself. Too much whiskey. It was fun, but when you start at 5:30 PM you get kind of tired by the time 11 PM rolls around.

I actually thought I was finished twice, only to hulk up both times and go back out. The Mardi Gras type level of excitement doesn't come through just any weekend. But when you're rather buzzed and very tired, it's hard to keep the energy level going. On my final time out I ran into this one girl who had somehow made it into the apartment complex and who was feeling sick. She asked if I had a water or a Sprite; I gave her the last 7 Up in my fridge. She had gotten sick on the stairs (lovely) and was resting on the stairs by my apartment with her boyfriend; outside the sidewalk looked like a scene out of Rollercoaster Tycoon at the walkway next to a dizzying ride, if you know what I mean.

If I owned a club, there would be a blanket ban on the Ludacris song "Move Bitch." It's a fine song, but wow does that send a crowd into an angry frenzy. I can only imagine how many fights that song has helped provoke.

On Thursday afternoon I'm heading up to Jacksonville to take part in the "Lex & Terry funeral" that Bubba the Love Sponge has scheduled there for Friday morning. As I mentioned on here before, I'm the new Head of Syndication for Bubba. So this will be my first event to attend as a member of Bubba's team. It should be interesting, a large convoy in downtown Jacksonville. Bubba is celebrating his win over L&T in M18-34 and P18-34 in the Fall 2002 book. It's a success story that I'm using in pitching the show to other markets. It will be interesting how the turnout is. We're hoping for a couple thousand people, but it could be larger than that. We'll see.

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